Head of the world’s largest advertising empire resigns

•April 20, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Martin Sorrell, chief executive officer of WPP Plc, pauses during a session on the opening day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-16/post-sorrell-wpp-breakup-theories-abound-selling-kantar-to-pr?utm_campaign=socialflow-organic&utm_medium=social&cmpid=socialflow-twitter-business&utm_content=business&utm_source=twitter

Martin Sorrell spent three decades building WPP Plc, the world’s largest advertising empire. His resignation is seen as potentially spurring a breakup.

The sudden exit of Sorrell, who held together the global network of more than 400 units, opens WPP up to reorganize and potentially attract bids for various divisions as its strategy shifts. Roberto Quarta, now interim executive chairman, says the company needs to optimize its portfolio. Here are five options WPP could consider to prune its reach and refocus, based on conversations with analysts and industry executives.

Kantar, WPP’s data management unit that gives companies insight on consumer trends, is the most obvious candidate for disposal, says Liberum analyst Ian Whittaker. While Sorrell was a strong advocate of keeping the division, Kantar’s revenues have consistently under-performed the group average and selling the business could raise 3.5 billion pounds ($5 billion), Whittaker said. Potential buyers would include marketing services firm Nielsen Holdings Plc or a private-equity shop.

WPP owns a suite of public relations firms, including Finsbury, Hill + Knowlton Strategies and Burson Marsteller. Profit margins are declining in PR and the sector has the weakest growth profile among WPP’s assets, says Alex DeGroote, a media analyst at Cenkos Securities. “WPP needs to sharpen its focus,” DeGroote says. “Ideally it wouldn’t have any PR and it wouldn’t have any market research.”

Under Sorrell, WPP bought minority stakes in an array of digital, media and marketing companies over his 32 years at the helm, including a 15 percent holding in ad-tech firm AppNexus Inc. and a slice of global youth media outlet Vice Media LLC. “He went around the world buying 20 percent of everything he found interesting,” says Richard Pinder, a former executive at WPP rival Publicis Groupe SA. “You can probably realize a lot of value there.”

WPP could divest one of its many creative agencies — such as Ogilvy & Mather, J. Walter Thompson or Grey — to a competitor like Publicis or Omnicom Group Inc., freeing up funds to invest in higher-growth areas like digital, says DeGroote. “They could well sell one or two of the big network brands,” he said. “That would help restore investor confidence in the growth agenda.”

Paring the number of its internal brands is another option. WPP’s GroupM division, for example, a cluster of media-buying companies that specialize in executing ad campaigns, is a likely candidate for further consolidation, said William Eccleshare, chief executive of outdoor advertising firm Clear Channel International. The increasing automation of digital ad-buying creates opportunities for further savings, Eccleshare said.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Sorrell

Martin Stuart Sorrell was born in London on 14 February 1945 to a Jewish family: his father was an electronics retailer, whose ancestors came from Russia, Poland and Romania. He was educated at the independent Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School, then studied Economics at Christ’s College, Cambridge, and gained an MBA from Harvard University in 1968.

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i was shocked to see sorrell was one of (((them))) and ex harvard.. *sarcasm

this shit is way to easy..

“Under Sorrell, WPP bought minority stakes in an array of digital, media and marketing companies over his 32 years at the helm, including a 15 percent holding in ad-tech firm AppNexus Inc. and a slice of global youth media outlet Vice Media LLC. “He went around the world buying 20 percent of everything he found interesting,” says Richard Pinder, a former executive at WPP rival Publicis Groupe SA. “You can probably realize a lot of value there.”

401

Hong Kong mega bridge set to open

•April 20, 2018 • 5 Comments

https://www.9news.com.au/world/2018/04/16/17/06/worlds-longest-sea-bridge-from-hong-kong-to-china-due-to-open

The world’s longest cross-sea bridge – linking mainland China to Hong Kong and Macau – will soon be open to traffic.

The 55-kms megastructure is one of China’s most ambitious engineering projects and is made of 380,000 tonnes of steel – enough to build 60 Eiffel Towers, reports the UK Telegraph.

The first cars are due to start crossing in the middle of the year, in what planners hope will herald a mass migration to China’s cities.

Over the next decade, authorities want to encourage 250 million people to move into China’s growing cities.

Improved infrastructure and transport is a key part of that strategy.

But even by China’s standards, the mega bridge is a grandiose project and its engineers have had to overcome immense challenges over eight years of construction.

Two artificial islands created around 100 huge steel cylinders had to be installed because of the soft – and in parts deep – sea floor.

And more than six kilometres of undersea tunnels had to be built to ensure the free flow of ships sailing from Hong Kong – one of the world’s busiest ports.

At its height, 14,000 workers and 300 ships were engaged with the project – which according to Chinese media cost $15billion (AUD$19b).

About 40,000 vehicles a day are expected to cross the bridge daily when it opens but it pedestrians and cyclists will not be allowed on it.

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completion dates..coincide with?

“The world’s longest cross-sea bridge – linking mainland China to Hong Kong and Macau – will soon be open to traffic.”

401

CIA Director Pompeo met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un over Easter weekend

•April 19, 2018 • 7 Comments

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/us-china-trade-dispute-looms-over-trump-summit-with-japans-abe/2018/04/17/2c94cb02-424f-11e8-bba2-0976a82b05a2_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.11b6ebd30e5e

CIA Director Mike Pompeo made a top-secret visit to North Korea over Easter weekend as an envoy for President Trump to meet with that country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, according to two people with direct knowledge of the trip.

The extraordinary meeting between one of Trump’s most trusted emissaries and the authoritarian head of a rogue state was part of an effort to lay the groundwork for direct talks between Trump and Kim about North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, according to the two people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the highly classified nature of the talks.

The clandestine mission, which has not previously been reported, came soon after Pompeo was nominated to be secretary of state.

“I’m optimistic that the United States government can set the conditions for that appropriately so that the president and the North Korean leader can have that conversation [that] will set us down the course of achieving a diplomatic outcome that America so desperately — America and the world so desperately need,” Pompeo told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week during his confirmation hearing.

Speaking at his Mar-a-Lago resort on Tuesday, Trump appeared to allude to the extraordinary face-to-face meeting between Kim and Pompeo when he said the United States has had direct talks with North Korea “at very high levels.” The president didn’t elaborate.

Trump said that he would sit down with Kim probably in early June, if not sooner.

————

wow..

come in from the cold NK?..things are starting to actually happen..from ww3 to peace in a month?..the media needs to take a valium..

“Trump said that he would sit down with Kim probably in early June, if not sooner.”

401

Propaganda Alert: Russian hackers have infected “millions of machines” across the world

•April 19, 2018 • 1 Comment

https://www.9news.com.au/technology/2018/04/17/07/32/russian-hackers-have-infected-millions-of-machines-across-the-world

Australian companies, including government agencies, are among those to have reportedly been caught in an alleged worldwide cyber-attack by Russian hackers.

ABC reports Australian, British and US authorities have claimed Russian government-backed hackers have infected “millions of machines” globally as part of an espionage campaign.

They claim the campaign is specifically targeting government agencies and businesses.

While hundreds of local businesses have been affected by the cyber attack, no information was compromised, the ABC said.

In a joint call with reporters White House cybersecurity coordinator Roby Joyce said: “When we see malicious cyber activity, whether it be from the Kremlin or other malicious nation-state actors, we are going to push back.”

US Department of Homeland Security cybersecurity official Jeanette Manfra said the attack was so widespread it could reach “large enterprises to small home offices”.

British and US governments said they intend to provide organisations with technical details on the attacks so determine if they have been hacked and prepare for any future attacks.

In February, the White House pointed the finger at Russia for the 2017 ‘NotPetya’ attack. The ransomware attack locked up computer files across the world and demanded bitcoin currency for its release.

US authorities continue to believe Russia also meddled with the 2016 US election. However, Moscow and US President Donald Trump deny such claims.

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mm..this kool aid is really good..

“While hundreds of local businesses have been affected by the cyber attack, no information was compromised, the ABC said.”

fairly shitty hackers then eh?

dont believe the hype..

401

Global economy warned to take action now during growth: IMF

•April 18, 2018 • 1 Comment

https://finance.nine.com.au/2018/04/18/09/35/global-economy-warned-to-take-action-now-during-growth-imf

The global economy is enjoying its strongest performance since the start of the decade but the International Monetary Fund has warned these favourable conditions won’t last forever.

In its latest World Economic Outlook – which included a modest upgrade to its Australian growth forecast – the IMF says governments should seize the opportunity to bolster growth and take action to counter the next downturn.

“Now is the moment to get ready for leaner times,” IMF economic counsellor Maurice Obstfeld says in the report released in Washington on Tuesday.

“Readiness requires not only cautious and forward-looking management of monetary and fiscal policies, but also careful attention to financial stability.”

The IMF stuck to its most recent world growth forecast of 3.9 per cent for both this year and next, the strongest pace since the growth spike which initially followed the 2008-2009 global financial crisis.

It says the global upswing that began in mid-2016 has become broader and stronger led by faster growth in the Euro area, Japan, China and the US.

It upgraded its Australian growth forecast to three per cent for 2018 from its previous 2.9 per cent prediction made in February, while keeping 2019 at 3.1 per cent.

“The partial recovery in commodity prices should allow conditions in commodity exporters to gradually improve,” the Washington-based institution said.

Such growth should help the Australian jobless rate ease to 5.2 per cent in 2019 and close to what the Reserve Bank believes to be ‘full employment’ at five per cent.

The unemployment rate was 5.6 per cent in February.

However, the IMF warns future growth prospects look challenging for advanced economies faced with ageing populations and low productivity growth, making it hard for household income growth to return to their pre-GFC pace.

It also says interest rates may need to rise more quickly than expected if excess demand emerges, which would stress highly indebted countries, firms, and households.

It saw this as a notable possibility in the US where fiscal policy has turned much more expansive even as the economy has neared full employment.

Escalating trade restrictions and retaliation is another risk to the outlook, it said, noting the first shots in a potential trade war involving the US have now been fired.

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4% eh?

“The IMF stuck to its most recent world growth forecast of 3.9 per cent for both this year and next, the strongest pace since the growth spike which initially followed the 2008-2009 global financial crisis.”

been smoking the good shit..

401

Rockefellers join Rothschilds & Soros in cryptocurrency investing

•April 18, 2018 • 7 Comments

https://www.rt.com/business/423559-rockefellers-soros-rothschilds-cryptocurrency-investment/

Despite the dramatic collapse of the crypto market this year, well-known investors have opted to buy into digital currencies, triggering a brief surge in the prices of top tokens.

Reports have emerged that George Soros is preparing to invest in digital assets, despite his earlier criticism of them. Adam Fisher, who controls macro investing at Soros Fund Management, has reportedly secured internal approval to trade the currencies.

The Rockefellers have also reportedly joined the crypto party. Venrock, the official venture-capital arm of the family, reportedly signed a partnership with Coinfund, a cryptocurrency investment fund, to back virtual tokens and blockchain business innovations.

Coinfund has recently launched token-based financial services platform Coinlist. The company had previously initiated a number of projects, including chat messenger app Kik, which raised almost $100 million in the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) last year.

“We wanted to partner with this team that has been making investments and actually helping to architect a number of different crypto economies and crypto token-based projects,”said David Pakman, partner at Venrock, as quoted by Fortune.

The Rothschilds, also known for their close ties to banks and other financial institutions, have stepped towards cryptocurrency trading as well. In December, the family reportedly purchased bitcoin exposure via the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust for the first time.

Crypto investors hope that the interest from big-time names will help to take the heat off the market from global financial watchdogs. Up until now, financial regulators across the world have taken a tough stance toward cryptocurrencies.

News of the involvement of big investors has triggered a jump in crypto prices, sending bitcoin back above $7,000. The price of the number one virtual currency has dropped more than 40 percent since January. It plunged below $7,000 on March 30 before dropping to its lowest point since last November in the past week. However, bitcoin remains nearly 400 percent higher than this time last year.

————

thar she blows..

“The Rockefellers have also reportedly joined the crypto party. Venrock, the official venture-capital arm of the family, reportedly signed a partnership with Coinfund, a cryptocurrency investment fund, to back virtual tokens and blockchain business innovations.”

and:

“Reports have emerged that George Soros is preparing to invest in digital assets, despite his earlier criticism of them. Adam Fisher, who controls macro investing at Soros Fund Management, has reportedly secured internal approval to trade the currencies.”

401

Richest 1% on target to own two-thirds of all wealth by 2030

•April 17, 2018 • 11 Comments

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/apr/07/global-inequality-tipping-point-2030

The world’s richest 1% are on course to control as much as two-thirds of the world’s wealth by 2030, according to a shocking analysis that has lead to a cross-party call for action.

World leaders are being warned that the continued accumulation of wealth at the top will fuel growing distrust and anger over the coming decade unless action is taken to restore the balance.

An alarming projection produced by the House of Commons library suggests that if trends seen since the 2008 financial crash were to continue, then the top 1% will hold 64% of the world’s wealth by 2030. Even taking the financial crash into account, and measuring their assets over a longer period, they would still hold more than half of all wealth.

Since 2008, the wealth of the richest 1% has been growing at an average of 6% a year – much faster than the 3% growth in wealth of the remaining 99% of the world’s population. Should that continue, the top 1% would hold wealth equating to $305tn (£216.5tn) – up from $140tn today.

Analysts suggest wealth has become concentrated at the top because of recent income inequality, higher rates of saving among the wealthy, and the accumulation of assets. The wealthy also invested a large amount of equity in businesses, stocks and other financial assets, which have handed them disproportionate benefits.

New polling by Opinium suggests that voters perceive a major problem with the influence exerted by the very wealthy. Asked to select a group that would have the most power in 2030, most (34%) said the super-rich, while 28% opted for national governments. In a sign of falling levels of trust, those surveyed said they feared the consequences of wealth inequality would be rising levels of corruption (41%) or the “super-rich enjoying unfair influence on government policy” (43%).

The research was commissioned by Liam Byrne, the former Labour cabinet minister, as part of a gathering of MPs, academics, business leaders, trade unions and civil society leaders focused on addressing the problem.

The actor Michael Sheen, who has opted to scale back his Hollywood career to campaign against high-interest credit providers, was among those supporting the calls.

The hope is to create pressure for global action when leaders of the G20 group of nations gather for a summit in Buenos Aires in November. Byrne, who organised the first OECD global parliamentary conference on inclusive growth, said he believed global inequality was “now at a tipping point”.

“If we don’t take steps to rewrite the rules of how our economies work, then we condemn ourselves to a future that remains unequal for good,” he said. “That’s morally bad, and economically disastrous, risking a new explosion in instability, corruption and poverty.”

In a sign of the concern about the accumulation of wealth in the hands of so few, the move has gained support from across the political divide.

George Freeman, the Tory MP and former head of the prime minister’s policy board, said: “While mankind has never seen such income inequality, it is also true that mankind has never experienced such rapid increases in living standards. Around the world billions of people are being lifted out of poverty at a pace never seen before. But the extraordinary concentration of global wealth today – fuelled by the pace of technological innovation and globalisation – poses serious challenges.

“If the system of capitalist liberal democracy which has triumphed in the west is to pass the big test of globalisation – and the assault from radical Islam as well as its own internal pressures from post-crash austerity – we need some new thinking on ways to widen opportunity, share ownership and philanthropy. Fast.”

Demands for action from the group include improving productivity to ensure wages rise and reform of capital markets to promote greater equality.

Danny Dorling, professor of geography at the University of Oxford, said the scenario in which the super-rich accumulated even more wealth by 2030 was a realistic one.

“Even if the income of the wealthiest people in the world stops rising dramatically in the future, their wealth will still grow for some time,” he said. “The last peak of income inequality was in 1913. We are near that again, but even if we reduce inequality now it will continue to grow for one to two more decades.”

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did you really expect anything different?

“Since 2008, the wealth of the richest 1% has been growing at an average of 6% a year – much faster than the 3% growth in wealth of the remaining 99% of the world’s population. Should that continue, the top 1% would hold wealth equating to $305tn (£216.5tn) – up from $140tn today.”

so the recession was good for them?

401

 
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